On November 7 this year, every New Yorker will be asked to vote “yes” or “no” on a Constitutional Convention to amend the New York State Constitution. The current New York State Constitution was largely written in 1894 with substantive changes made in 1938. Past constitutional conventions made New York a leader in national policy: the 1894 Convention lay the foundation for the national park system; the 1938 Convention introduced provisions to care for the needy and protect workers’ right to organize, paving the way for the federal New Deal reforms.
“Yes” vote supporters argue that the Constitutional Convention would allow New Yorkers to take back our government from entrenched lobbyists and special interests. “No” vote supporters argue that the politicians, lobbyists and special interest groups will hijack a Constitutional Convention, and game the system for themselves.